Niagara Leadership Summit for Women 2020 is here!

This year, we are Rising Together as women leaders in Niagara. We’re honoured and so excited to introduce to you this year’s speakers!

Trecia McLennon (she/her) is the Founder of Culturiousity, which helps executives harness the power of people’s differences to deliver healthy relationships, respect and results. She also works as Brock University’s Intercultural Communications Coordinator in the Office of Human Rights and Equity and is an elected staff representative on Brock’s Board of Trustees.

She is a former assistant professor in the school of International Studies at the University of Ulsan in South Korea, and a former instructor of Global Management Studies at Ryerson University. With a background in corporate communications, knowledge management and learning, she has delivered results to organizations of all sizes and myriad industries.

Trecia is the author of the anthology Trailblasian, a published collection delving into the voices and experiences of 17 Black women from three different countries about living and working in East Asia; and co-author of an Open Educational Resource on Professional Communication being used at no cost to students by several institutions in Canada and around the world. Her experience traveling to 18 and living in five different countries equipped her to get by in five languages and showed her how to march past fear and into more mindful awareness.

Having moved to the Niagara Region on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee people, she also serves on the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the City of St. Catharines, believing in the value of building community. She is a proud AfroJamaiCanadian parent looking to be a good ancestor and leave the world better for future generations.

She has a BA in Communications (Windsor), an MBA (Aston UK), and certificates in Adult Training and Development (OISE U of T), Intercultural Practice (ICI) and Human Rights Theory and Practice (Osgoode Hall Law, York). She’s a qualified IDI administrator and a certified training and development professional (CTDP).

Our 2020 Niagara Leadership for Women Speakers...

Haley Bateman

Haley operates a home daycare and enjoys doing consulting work in her spare time. She is an active volunteer in the community who currently sits on two city committees: Social Pillar and the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (Chair). Haley is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Niagara Employment Agency (Niagara Region Recycling). She’s a mom of three, who has been advocating for social issues for many years. In 2018, Haley threw her hat in the ring by  running for Niagara Regional Council.

Haley will sit on the “Practical Skills to Help Women Rise” panel. Check it out here!

Kimberly Calderbank

Kimberly is a true believer in the power of community. She recently ran for Burlington City Council, believing it’s so critical to see more women at decision-making tables.

Kimberly is a business-savvy entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Yellow Robot, an award-winning digital marketing agency where they provide the highest standard of leadership and innovation.

A Brock University graduate in Sociology and History, she uses her background in the study of human behaviour, rights, and policy to apply compassion to everything she does. Adding to her experience, her Niagara College public relations certificate has led her to many roles in community-focused events and initiatives. She is an amazing communicator and connector dedicated to creating purposeful and inclusive communities.

Read more about Kimberly’s workshop “Meaningful Change Through Community Leadership” here!

Teri Canestraro & Sarah Singleton

A professor-student mentorship turned business partners! Teri and Sarah are two Niagara-loving event planners with a desire to bring more female to the table! We founded Females Who Side Hustle in 2019 and haven’t looked back! A community to support, educate and empower females who hustle. Where women can connect through open conversations and shared experiences. Our goal is to be able to say, “we’ve got a gal for that” across industries. With a newly launched podcast called “Save Her Seat”, and a series of events aimed at bringing women together, we are ditching competition and encouraging females to life each other up and collaborate.

Sarah and Teri will sit on the “Rising to the Challenge of the Online World” panel. Check it out here!

Sherri Darlene

Sherri discovered herself in activism from an early age. She recalls the memory of her ancestors whispering to her, as she sat numbly on her bedside, about yet another senseless murder of an unarmed black man. Sherri knew the importance of standing up for what you believe in and knew something had to be done. Sherri always knew that she was a born leader and on June 6, 2020 she found her purpose leading the #Justice4BlackLives movement.

Sherri will sit on the “Rising Together: Diversity and Inclusion” panel. Check it out here!

Siobhan Deary

Owner of a Financial Services Practice in Niagara, specializing in financial literacy by guiding client’s short and long term goals. Her clients include individuals, families, self-employed, businesses and their owners in the Golden Horseshoe. As a former athlete, self funded university graduate, and entrepreneur – she understands the importance of planning, patience, and discipline.

Siobhan is a Brock University graduate with an Honours Degree in Business Administration specializing in Analytics. She also attended the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland studying Law and Finance as part of her undergrad. Her mission is to help women like herself feel confident when making financial decisions, and give them the knowledge and tools to reach their money goals. Financial freedom is attainable, and Siobhan can help you get there.

Siobhan will sit on the “Practical Skills to Help Women Rise” panel. Check it out here!

Amanda Fletcher

A Niagara native and mental health advocate, Amanda Fletcher is a graduate of Brock University and Humber College. An anxiety sufferer from the age of 12, she is a self-described “social awkward” and reluctant leader, whose unlikely journey into leadership continues to be a lesson in overcoming stigma and getting out of your own way.

Amanda is currently Associate Director of Marketing for CAA Niagara and holds a certificate in Professional Leadership Development from the Goodman School of Business.

Read more about Amanda’s seminar “Hi, I’m Anxious. Please Help Me” here!

Arti Freeman

Arti Freeman is a highly experienced grantmaker, capacity builder, and knowledge mobilizer. She has over 20 years’ experience leading programs and strategies, organizational change initiatives, and business process improvements in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors. She is currently the Manager of Partnership Investments at the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), one of Canada’s largest grantmaking foundations. In this role, she provides strategic direction and oversight for the development of cross-sectoral partnerships to support innovation and the demonstration of impact across the nonprofit sector.

Before joining OTF in 2003, Arti led the training and consulting offerings at the Centre for Community Leadership at Niagara College, where she concurrently served as a consultant for Niagara’s nonprofit sector. Arti has lived and worked in the Philippines, India, Belgium, and South Africa. She is a Certified Change Management Professional with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Master of Science in Poverty Reduction and Development Management.

Read more about Arti’s seminar “Learning to Lead: A Personal Journey Towards Courage, Compassion and Curiosity” here!

Tracy Geoffroy

Tracy is currently the Executive Director of the Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation. Prior to this position, she was the Director of Development at Brock University and United Way.

Tracy has extensive knowledge and experience in annual, leadership, major, and legacy giving. As Executive Director, she has worked collaboratively with Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital management, staff, and volunteers, as well as government and key community leaders to support the hospital’s new build and expansion.

In a volunteer capacity, she is the Vice-Chair of Victim Services Niagara, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, and Co-Director of Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Read more about Tracy’s seminar “Volunteering: Ignite your Passion and Re-energize your Career” here!

Michelle Grocholsky

For over a decade, Michelle has designed and led Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) strategies across a variety of industries, including high tech, financial services, land, property and construction, and health – with organizations ranging from a few individuals to tens of thousands.

Across these experiences, Michelle has learned the critical strategies that enable organizations to turn difference into a difference-maker to the bottom-line and employee experience.

Over time she has learned, the invisible barriers that often hold women and diverse talent back from achieving parity, equity, and success.

Michelle has used her voice to ignite change. Her work has been recognized globally via numerous awards and distinctions and has led to meaningful improvements to organizational engagement, empowerment, inclusion, and customer experience scores. And, most importantly, has had a positive impact on corporate partners and coaching clients alike.

Michelle will sit on the “Rising Together: Diversity and Inclusion” panel. Check it out here!

Diana Huson, Laura Ip & Lori Littleton

Diana, Laura, and Lori are all local politicians who work and have families in addition to their political commitments.

Certainly, throughout their term on their respective Councils and beforehand, all three women have been vocal about women’s issues or involved in advocating for women. In addition to being Regional and City Councillors, Diana works for Brock University; Laura runs a non-profit boxing club and does freelance work; and Lori works in financial services and is a writer.

Each of them has faced and overcome barriers in their personal and professional lives on their way to becoming involved in politics. Diana is not only the first woman to represent Pelham on Regional Council, she’s the first woman to run for the seat; Laura has run in a total of four election campaigns and sat on St. Catharines City Council for a year; Lori is new to politics as of 2018, and won her seat on City Council on her first run.

Read more about Diana, Laura and Lori’s seminar “Overcoming Barriers to Political Involvement” here!

Brielle Kaminsky

Brielle Kaminsky is a fourth year Brock student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Over the years, she has had incredible mentors who have helped her to find her own leadership potential as a woman. Brielle found a passion for taking action in the community which has lead to many rewarding opportunities. As a Brock Leader, she volunteers with many organizations and started the Days for Girls Brock Chapter. DfG provides feminine hygiene kits, promotes menstrual health awareness and sexual violence prevention initiatives. She does this because she deeply believe in philanthropy, social justice, community, and making a difference.

Read more about Brielle’s workshop “Making Global Impact Through Local Opportunities” here!

Safa Khan

Safa is a 4th year Medical Sciences student at Brock University. Safa intends on pursuing a MPH in Epidemiology in the near future to lead her to her goal of becoming an Epidemiologist. She is fascinated by the world of research. Safa holds multiple leadership roles such as being a student mentor, Faculty Representative of Applied Health Sciences for BUSAC and being a chair on committees such as the Sexual Violence Support and Education and the Undergraduate Program for Senate. Safa is so passionate about empowering women and being a role model for young women to pursue their own goals.

Safa will sit on the “Rising Together: Diversity and Inclusion” panel. Check it out here!

Stephanie Lakeit-Hall & Theresa Sawchuk

Stephanie and Theresa met through a mutual friend at a mastermind group. The mastermind group is no longer together, but this has not stopped Stephanie and Theresa from working together and creating great things.

When the pandemic first hit,  Stephanie and Theresa came together to form “Wednesdays with Wisdom and Wine” and “Sip + Soul” to bring women together. WWW is taking a summer break. Sip + Soul runs every Friday over a virtual platform. This is a safe place for women to network with each other. Together Stephanie and Theresa have formed two social venues for women to be inspired and help fulfill their aspirations, dreams, and goals. They do this work because they love watching other women rise.

Stephanie and Theresa will sit on the “Rising to the Challenge of the Online World” panel. Check it out here!

Lani Lirio

Lani’s journey in Canada started 14 years ago. She has worked for several organizations delivering leadership workshops, team building, and customer service training. With her vast experience in various industries, she saw a common denominator that stops a team from reaching their full potential – the absence of real dialogue.

Lani carries so much passion for sparking meaningful dialogue and inspiring collaboration in the workplace, which overtime had inspired her to launch Bright Mango Consulting. Her genuine interest to help clients succeed further fuels her passion, especially when they leave her workshops with renewed enthusiasm and concrete action plans to make a difference in the workplace.

Together with her husband, and three children, they continue to rise together and build wonderful memories in the beautiful Niagara Region.

Read more about Lani’s workshop “Unleash the Power of Virtual Teams” here!

Lynn Nicholls

Helping people find happiness and showing people that there’s hope is the most rewarding part of Lynn’s job. Lynn is an Intuition Expert and Psychic Medium with clients worldwide. Host of the Lynntuition podcast allows her to give listeners intuition elevation activities that they can weave into their days. Lynn also presents intuition training workshops to large groups and at corporate staff training. Tv and radio appearances, as well as guesting on podcasts has become a regular occurrence for her. Lynn gives accurate and helpful insights to clients but her specialty is showing them how to access and elevate their own intuition to enhance their lives.

Read more about Lynn’s workshop “Your Intuition is your Superpower” here!

Sana Pabani

Sana is a MBA student at Brock University and she also works as a Communications and Marketing Manager for a global initiative during COVID-19 for a Non-Governmental Organization.

The journey was never easy for Sana, from writing her very own article and becoming a Research Assistant. She believes that it’s easy to get lost in the sea but one must keep moving forward.  She has been through a lot: from being abused, facing rejection and lacking funding for college, but she has realized the real way to come out of it, and has become stronger than ever.

Today, she wants to help and empower women and let them know they are not alone. She hopes to help others to overcome their struggles and become the best version of themselves.

Sana will sit on the “How I Rise: My Leadership Journey” panel. Check it out here!

Anna Racine

A strong community-minded woman with over 20 years of volunteer experience, Anna is an inspiring and engaging leader, a mother of two, and an experienced law clerk.

As a certified spiritual director, and faculty presenter at Mount Carmel Retreat Centre for workshops such as Grief, Change, Transition, Life Issues, Healing, and Spirituality, she also has a role of being a facilitator for grief and divorce support groups through Hospice Niagara and the Diocese of St. Catharines. She has helped so many people within her community. Through her life struggles and healing journey, Anna provides hope for others and inspire healing and growing from life’s difficulties.

Read more about Anna’s seminar “Growing Through Grief” here!

Patricia Regier

Learning Experience Designer, Patricia Regier is passionate about online meetings and education that sparks enthusiasm and results. She is a facilitator and content creator, who gets excited about multimedia tools that can reach and engage the variety of learning types in your audience or team.

Over twenty years of experience working in Niagara’s nonprofit sector, leading and contributing to collaborative programs. Patricia merges academic knowledge from a Master of Adult Education, with practical experience. She is the Founder of Regier Educational Services, providing resources/support through her YouTube channel, website, online courses, workshops, and content creation skills.

Patricia is pleased to help leaders and facilitators engage their audiences, turning them into participants.

Patricia will sit on the “Rising to the Challenge of the Online World” panel. Check it out here!

Sherri Rossi

Sherri Rossi is a Senior HR Consultant and has been in the field of HR for 18 years. She values her role as an “agent of engagement,” where she assists organizations by ensuring their employees are committed to the organization and its goals. Sherri’s hands-on, caring approach serves to create happy, engaged teams that work cohesively toward individual and collective success.

Before joining the TEC team, Sherri worked in the HR field for many years both in Canada and the United States. She gained a diverse experience within a variety of industries including service centers, retail, product design, travel, municipalities, daycare centers, and manufacturing industries.

In addition to her HR and recruiting skills, Sherri has an extensive background in designing and delivering training programs. Sherri also offers clients niche expertise as a Certified Workplace Investigator. She has been conducting workplace harassment investigations for several years and has received many accolades for both her attention to detail and findings.

Sherri is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) through the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and is a member of the Niagara Chapter.

Sherri will sit on the “Practical Skills to Help Women Rise” panel. Check it out here!

Isabella Roy

Isabella thrives in an environment where she met with ambiguous challenges because she loves connecting the dots. Isabella doesn’t get frazzled by complex problems but instead adapts quickly and positively to change. In a nutshell, she’s a fiercely loyal yet complicated individual fuelled by passion and ambition, which makes Isabella your best ally in moments of volatility and uncertainty.

When she isn’t playing mad strategist (a.k.a., Chief of Staff), you’ll find Isabella undertaking research, testing out a new food recipe, spending time with her family, or sipping on a piña colada or a glass of chianti with her friends.

Read more about Isabella’s seminar “Know Your Worth: Cultivate your Inner Courage” here!

Adarsh Saxena

Adarsh is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Agent with a passion for all things real estate. She loves the challenges and great satisfaction her profession provides, including handholding first time home buyers to navigate through the process of home buying, getting finances/mortgages arranged so clients could live their homeownership dreams, guiding investors to build their real estate portfolio – and seeing the joy on single moms faces when they get approved for mortgages and buy a home of their own – are some examples of why Adarsh love what she does.

Adarsh will sit on the “How I Rise: My Leadership Journey” panel. Check it out here!

Niveditha Sethumadhavan

Born in India and raised in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, and Nigeria, Niveditha became a Niagara resident in 2016. She is a communications professional deeply passionate about development and social advancement, previously having served in various advocacy and stakeholder management roles.

Niveditha is a translator at TED, and serve as the Director of Fundraising of the Foundation for Rural Youth Empowerment.

Post graduating, she created has founded her own freelance digital strategy firm – Yellow Cup Consulting. As a proud Brock alumna, she is a recipient of the prestigious Spirit of Brock Medal, President’s Surgite Award, and had the honour to be elected by her peers to serve as the Vice-President, External Affairs of the Brock University Students’ Union.

Read more about Niveditha’s seminar “Unlearning Failure” here!

Jadranka Muncoro

Jadranka is a successful and serial entrepreneur who made her first million by the time she was 25. She created four multi-million-dollar businesses, created hundreds of jobs, and was an RBC’s Canada’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Winner out of a record-breaking 6,400 nominees.

But in 2015, Jadranka physically and emotionally burned out and lost the business she had spent 10 years building. Her self-esteem was shattered. Instead of grossing millions, now Jadranka owed millions. She had been to the top of the business world and now she was at the bottom. It has taken Jadranka five years to mourn the loss of her company, deal with the pain, fear, and suffering all on her own. Yet from my pain came wisdom, from her fear came courage and from her suffering came enormous strength to jump back on the wild roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship.

Jadranka transformed her life, currently finishing her Ph.D. in Conscious Centered Business Ethics and launching her Business Institute here in St. Catharines.

Read more about Jadranka’s workshop “Mastering the Art of Rebooting and Bouncing Back” here!

Christina Thomas

Christina is an active member of the Rykert Volunteer Committee; a tenant led neighbourhood association striving to make a difference that creates a safe space for residents to learn new skills, make new friends, enjoy community dinners, and voice tenant concerns.

A recent employee at Out of the Cold as an Emergency Shelter Attendant and active volunteer at New Hope Church Niagara. Christina was one of six women chosen, to participate in “Seat at the Table”, a political mentorship program run by some amazing women City Councillors of St. Catharines.

She is also an author of “Can’t Hold Me Down, I’m Wearing My Crown” and a recent graduate of the Community Developmental Social Worker program, which she went back to be able to learn more programs and services to offer to our community.

Christina will sit on the “How I Rise: My Leadership Journey” panel. Check it out here!

Bonni Tigemeyer

Being in the industry for 30 years, Bonni is an experienced HR Professional. In her practice she focuses on developing total reward strategies, as well as compliance and organizational effectiveness. Bonnie has her CEBS, SPHR, CHRL and SHRM-SCP designations. In 2012 she was celebrated, being the Toronto Star HR Professional of the Year. Bonnie continues to do what she loves, because what she does helps people succeed in their own work.

Bonni will sit on the “How I Rise: My Leadership Journey” panel. Check it out here!

Lisa Tong

Lisa is a woman of many hats, and she loves them all equally! Lisa is an ICF Professional Certified Coach who seems to have her fingers and toes in all sorts of passion projects. Lisa sees herself as someone who enables change and growth for those around her and within any organization.

She is deeply passionate about helping clients maximize their performance potential. There is no magic formula. Each journey is different, yet very powerful in its own way, regardless of the challenges and goals.

Professionally, she does strategy and projects for a multinational corporation, Cosmetic House. While teaching and empowering coaches through a coaching academy, she helps teams and individuals transform as a professional coach. Fun fact about Lisa is she loves her soup, she has become a soup blogger where she shares her passion for Chinese soups!

Lisa loves what she does because she is constantly creating a positive impact and sustainable change for those around her.

Read more about Lisa’s workshop “Can I really self coach myself? Expanding my own Boundaries” here!